Cormorant hunting? Are you kidding me? NOPE. We start the show off by checking in with Chief Derrell Schipes of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. This past winter, Derrell’s division executed the first ever cormorant removal plan of it’s kind in the United States. Over 500 volunteer agents (hunters) took to the field and killed over 12,000 double breasted cormorants off the Santee Cooper Lakes.
With a diet comprised 100% of fish- both game and baitfish- it’s easy to see why anglers don’t care for this species. Cormorants are also experiencing an all time high in population. Much like South Carolina, Texas anglers and waterfowlwers are used to seeing huge flocks cormorants on our reservoirs each winter. Maybe Texas Parks & Wildlife should have a similar plan? It is confirmed that they are kicking the tires on the issue. Cormorant eating an alligator gar nearly it’s own size:
Next up we talk some shotgunning when Field & Stream Shotgun Editor Phil Bourjaily makes his return to the program. He also writes for Ducks Unlimited Magazine and his recent piece “A New Look At Shot Strings’ analyzed whether or not the ‘shot string’ of high velocity steel shot really affects a waterfowler’s ability to kill a duck or goose inside 40 yards (decoying birds). There are a few schools of thought that Phil debunks with us during our visit. You might be surprised to find out if or if not shot string really matters.
Then we are joined by our good friend Gus Samuelson of Big Gus & Swampadelic. The first annual Big Gus’s Swampadelic Catfish Tournament and Fish Fry is right around the corner and Big Gus gives us all the details. With a $5,000 1st place payout, this is the biggest catfishin’ tournament the Lone Star State has ever seen. Noodlers and rod and reel anglers from all over the southern U.S. will square off for a chance to win a huge payday. Any catfish caught on any lake may be weighed in alive at Southern Junction in Royse City, Texas the evening of July 12th. Gus also talks about his passion for getting kids into the outdoors and the Trinity River Audubon Center which the tournament is benefiting.
We wrap things up by talking summer retriever tips with Angie Becker of Tioga Retrievers. A longtime friend of the show and Belle’s trainer, Angie offers some sound advice on when and how long you should be working your dog during the Texas summer heat. She gives some simple tips to help keep your dog sharp during these dog days of summer.
What if your dog does get overheated? What signs should you look for and how should you treat it? We also discuss an upcoming snake breaker clinic and the importance of having your hunting buddy snake proofed. Death or lengthy vet stays coupled with outrageous bills are things that can be easily avoided if you take necessary precaution. Maverick and Belle getting a brief training session in during the Texas summer: